The Strange Feeling When You’ve Read An Entire Month’s TBR

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TBRs are so elusive. I’m talking about the monthly TBRs we create for ourselves. We set out at the beginning of the month to read X number of books and then we leave the month going “wait, what happened to that list of books I wanted to read?”

It honestly made me question whether or not I should continue to create TBRs. What is the point in making a TBR if I’m not going to stick with it?

When the rest of the reading community tends to lean towards their mood, folks who read their TBR are needles in the haystack. I know that people who do read their TBRs every month exist, but I rarely see them. I wanted to know what it was like to have only a few books to read and a month to read it.

So in the beginning of January, I decided I would create a TBR and stick with it. I wouldn’t feel swayed to read a book I just received. I won’t give in to my moods and read what it feels like. I will read what I set out to read in hopes to really pare down the ever-growing TBR.

The results: I read EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK.

It was tough, I will admit. I mean, I ended up writing an entire blog post about how TBRs are stupid and we should do away with them. But now that I’m looking back at my month I realized that this TBR actually did me some good.

First off, it helped me read some books that have been sitting on my shelf for YEARS. I finally read Dark Matter. I finally read that ARC copy of Bonfire I picked up at BookCon. I honestly feel accomplished and I feel like I can take down my daunting TBR shelf if I continue in this matter.

Secondly, the simple act of making a plan, executing it, and accomplishing it felt so satisfying. It’s like making a To Do list and checking off every item on it. I honestly felt like a new person and with this new year just getting started, I feel like I can do anything! When people say “set yourself one goal and do it,” they weren’t joking. The power of actually doing something you planned on doing feels like the rest of the world is as simple as this. Who knew! Not my lazy butt.

At one point, I did feel complete burnout and worried I wouldn’t finish. This was because one of the books I read was pretty big and quite wordy. It was an incredible read, but it was a style of writing I’m not a fan of and that slowed me down.

At another point, I felt so burdened by the list because I was receiving so many good books to read and not enough time to read them. I kept thinking I would add them onto the end of the month if I had time, but I also purposefully chose a book list that was short to allow myself the time to read.

Finally, I tried to read a book and didn’t like the premise at all so I didn’t finish it. I feel like recognizing a book isn’t your thing early on helps you move onto the next book on the list. Don’t worry about finishing a book you don’t like. You’re better off moving along and that helped a lot too.

While I did complain in a recent blog post that I won’t be doing any more TBRs, I decided I will. I’m going to stick with this because the feeling of accomplishment is way better than the feeling of reading whatever I want. However, I won’t be sharing what I read because I feel like that level of accountability will definitely make me feel the burden of picking my TBR.

 

5 thoughts on “The Strange Feeling When You’ve Read An Entire Month’s TBR

  1. Congrats on accomplishing your goal! There’s definitely something amazing about actually sticking to your plan. I’m a to do list addict, so I know the feeling of being able to cross things off.

    I’m kind of split when it comes to TBRs. On the one hand, I like having a theme for the month ahead that helps me focus on what I want to read. This month, I want to catch up on ARCs, but a lot of times I’m reading specifically for research on a writing project. But on the other hand, I HATE feeling compelled to read something when it’s just not my cup of tea. I like building a TBR of possible books for the month, and then letting myself pick and choose from among those books. I definitely want to get in the habit of letting myself DNF books that just aren’t for me. I always guilt trip myself about it, but sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself and admit when something’s not working.

    Good luck with your goals for February!

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  2. It’s interesting how your thoughts on the monthly TBR stack shifted as you went along. I try to have a sort of mental TBR list every month and I guess I mostly stick to it. Sometimes mood reading or something shiny and new does get in the way. Also, being able to say “enough” and DNF a book (even one you’ve really looked forward to) is key. I’ve forced myself to finish a book, too often and really try not to do it anymore. Fun post!

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